Energy is the material resources that can provide some form of energy for human beings in nature. With the continuous development of the world's industry, the demand for energy shows an increasing trend. In addition, alternative energy materials have been paid more and more attention due to their green, pollution-free and renewable characteristics, among which energy storage and battery materials are important ones. Making full use of new environment-friendly energy storage and battery materials can protect the environment, slow down the greenhouse effect and benefit the long-term development of human beings.
- Solar cell materials: Solar energy, which accounts for more than 99% of the earth's total energy, is inexhaustible and pollution-free, so it has become one of the new energy resources developed and utilized by scientists around the world. The working principle of solar cell is based on the photovoltaic effect, so solar cell is also called photovoltaic cell. The materials used for solar cells mainly include elemental semiconductor materials, inorganic ceramic semiconductor materials, solid solution and organic solar cell materials. Among them, the chemical structures of organic solar cell materials are easy to modify, and the preparation, purification and processing of those compounds are simple. It can be made into large-area flexible thin film devices, which has the advantages in cost and wide distribution of resources. Furthermore, organic solar cell materials can be divided into organic small molecule compounds, organic macromolecule compounds, D-A binary system and others.
- LiFePO4 battery materials: Due to its advantages of long life, environmental protection, safety, low temperature performance, good rate discharge performance, high specific energy and low raw material cost, LiFePO4 battery has become the focus and hotspot of research in recent years. It will replace the traditional power battery in the future and become the mainstream product in the battery market. LiFePO4 battery materials include cathode materials, cathode materials, electrolyte material and diaphragm. Among them, the laboratory level of gram capacity of LiFePO4 battery cathode material has reached 140mAh/g, and some can even achieve 160mAh/g.
Figure 1. The typical structure of LiFePO4 battery cathode material.
- Ternary lithium ion battery materials: Ternary lithium ion battery is a kind of energy storage device developed rapidly in recent years. The ternary lithium ion battery has the advantages of high energy density, long cycle life, large volume density and no pollution, which has a broad application prospect in the power battery market. In ternary lithium ion battery, the most important material is the cathode material, whose performance directly determines the quality of the battery. Ternary lithium ion battery material has a layered structure, which is conducive to the insertion and release of lithium ions, so lithium battery material has high rate performance. With the support of the global government, the development of ternary lithium ion battery materials is very rapid.
Figure 2. An example of ternary lithium ion battery cathode materials.
- Energy storage materials: The materials applied in energy storage can be divided into wind energy storage materials, hydrogen energy storage materials, phase change energy storage materials and others. For example, large fan blades made of composite materials are mainly used in wind energy storage. These blades can convert wind energy into liquefied air for storage and release it when it is needed to generate electricity. Because the environment of wind energy storage project will be relatively severe, so the materials used for wind energy storage need to have the advantages of good corrosion resistance and high strength.
- Christian M. Julien, OrcID, Alain Mauger, Karim Zaghib and Henri Groult. Comparative Issues of Cathode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries, Inorganics 2014, 2(1), 132-154.